The Limekiln Trail is a very accessible hiking, biking and horseback riding loop trail in the Judith Mountains with the trail head about 20 minutes NE of Lewistown. The trail can be a four-mile roundtrip hike or ride, or you can extend your trip via a seven-mile loop.
Either loop provides a great introduction to the mountains of Central Montana. The seven-mile loop affords great vistas both to the northeast and to the west over Lewistown.
There is good vehicle and trailer parking at the trailhead. The trail is gravelly in places and horses need to be shod, but much of the trail is hard packed dirt and very comfortable for both horse and hiker. The parking area at the trail head is adjacent to the Judith Mountain Lodge, a unique mountain lodge.
1. Start at the light at Main St. and 1st Ave in Lewistown.
2. Go north on 1st Ave N, .2 mile to intersection with Rt. 191.
3. Go north on Rt. 191, 1.7 miles to Limekiln Rd. on right.
4. Turn right on Limekiln Rd. at 2.6 miles, keep going straight, i.e. don’t bear left. Total mileage to trailhead parking lot from 191 turnoff is 6.1 miles.
Download Topo Map
The loop trail can be hiked/ridden in either direction, but we’ll describe it here going counter clockwise.
Start from the parking lot and proceed along the road that passes to the right (southwest) of the Judith Mountain Lodge. You will then come to an iron gate. Pass through the gate and watch for the sign that indicates the trail proceeding off to the right from the road.
Follow the trail and you’ll soon be climbing about 1000 feet from 4800 to 5800 feet. During the climb you’ll see a turnoff to a scenic overlook over Lewistown and the Mountains to the west.
Back on the trail you’ll ride/hike through pine forest and then emerge into an area of pine regrowth following a fire of 20 years ago. Most of the trail stays at a constant elevation contour here until there is a series of switchbacks that gets you back down to the trailhead.
No water on the trail, but water at the trailhead (a bit hard to access).
Nothing tricky about the trail except some places where you pass through narrow openings between trees and you need to pay attention to your knees if you're on horseback!
Information on current conditions can be obtained from the BLM field Office in Lewistown at 406-538-1900.